Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and that means that summer is coming to an end. Whether you welcome the crisper days and pumpkin everything or you are a total beach bum, you can’t deny the amazing benefits of bright, sunny summer days for our physical and mental health. As the unofficial end of the summer, there’s no reason not to get outside and soak up the last days of the season.
While there are tons of reasons why you should get outside, one is that a certain amount of sun is actually good for you. Some studies have found that there are health and wellness benefits to getting about 5-15 minutes of sun exposure each day. But just because there are benefits to a little sun, that doesn’t mean that you should abandon your wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen.
Sun safety is still very important. Because too much sun can leave you with a nasty sunburn, wrinkles or even melanoma, it is critical that you continue to take precautions. Always wear a sunscreen and try to avoid direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest.
What are the benefits of regular, safe sun exposure?
You probably notice that it’s easier to keep to your health and wellness routines in the summer. The weather is conducive to being outside and the longer days give us more time to be active. In the heat of the summer, we also tend to avoid heavy meals and opt for more fresh foods, like in-season fruits and vegetables.
Another benefit: The sun naturally makes people happier because it triggers your body to produce serotonin and endorphins, which are your body’s mood boosters. Serotonin has another positive effect that can make people happier – better sleep! The production of serotonin helps your body to more effectively produce melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. When you get a good night’s sleep, you wake up happier, more alert and ready for the day.
6 Ways to Get Outside This Labor Day Weekend
Want to make the most out of this weekend? Check out these ideas to get you outside and enjoying everything the summer season has to offer.
Visit your nearest farmers market to check out the freshest, locally sourced fruits and vegetables available. Not only will you spend time outside browsing their wares, you’ll get to support farmers and other small business owners in your area.
Host Family and Friends
Celebrate the summer by hosting your family and friends. A BBQ, picnic, pool party or just a casual day of lawn games will get you out in the sun and enjoying the company of the most important people in your life.
Why does food just taste better when you eat a meal outdoors? The balmy end-of-summer evenings create the perfect conditions for eating al fresco. Whip up your favorite meal (maybe from your farmers market finds) and set up on your deck, patio or lawn. If you don’t have outdoor space, head to a local park.
Complete a Home Improvement Project
Before the weather changes, get outside and tackle a home project that has been on your list. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, you’ll still feel a huge sense of accomplishment knowing that you completed something on your list.
Hit the Beach
What could be more summer than the beach? Head out to the sand and the surf of your nearest beach and play! Wade in the water, start a volleyball game or read a great book. Don’t live by the ocean? Lakes and pools will also do the trick.
Explore the Outdoors
No matter where you live, there is always somewhere to explore. Being out in nature has been proven to improve our mood and calm a busy mind. Take a hike, walk in your local park or even in a new neighborhood. Just get out there!
Getting outdoors is medicine for our bodies, minds and souls. With the end of the summer around the corner, now is the time to take advantage of the weather and get outside. How will you celebrate the end of the summer? What are your favorite outdoor activities?